The latest meta-analysis of studies on egg consumption and heart disease risk found that even less than a single egg a day is associated with increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Images thanks to wilkeshe via Flickr.
In my video, Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis, I suggested that eggs were bad for our arteries, smoking more than a pack a day for ten years was bad for your arteries, and combining egg-eating and smoking was even worse, thus the effect of eggs and smoking appears to be additive. But egg yolks alone were associated with artery-clogging plaque buildup nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.
This certainly ruffled some feathers. Yes, eggs are by far the #1 source of cholesterol in the American diet, but letters to the editor like this one protested that dietary cholesterol may have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels, citing a study published in 1971 performed on eight people. But if you look at dozens of studies all put together, covering hundreds of study subjects, you find that blood cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol. Here’s an extreme example just to illustrate, a year in the life of a study subject taken on and off eggs. First they take him off eggs, put him on a cholesterol free diet, and his cholesterol plummets within just three weeks. Then they give him lots of eggs and he’s back in trouble, and stays there until they take the eggs away and put him back on the cholesterol free diet and so on and so forth on and off like a light switch made out of eggs.
Of course the only reason we care our about our cholesterol levels or how much plaque is building up inside our arteries is because we want to avoid the consequences, like a heart attack. So, do eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease or not? Here’s the latest meta-analysis, the latest compilation of all the best studies on egg consumption and risk of heart disease going back to 1930. When you put them all together, what do you find? Overall, those that ate the most eggs had a 19% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a 68% increased risk of diabetes, and then once you got diabetes, an 85% increased risk of heart disease. And it didn’t take much, less than a single egg a day was associated with a significantly increased risk of heart disease. Just over a half an egg a day may increase heart disease risk between 6 and 40%, and the risk of diabetes 29%. They conclude that their findings support the American Heart Association dietary guidelines, which advise restricted egg consumption in adults for preventing cardiometabolic disease, like diabetes, our seventh leading cause of death, and heart disease, killer number one.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.
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The link to the smoking video is here: Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis
More on the diabetes connection in Eggs and Diabetes and Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy.More on eggs and the egg industry in general:
There’s more to heart disease than just cholesterol buildup. In my next video, Eggs and Arterial Function, I’ll explore what effect egg consumption has on endothelial function, the ability of our arteries to relax normally.
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